Just Buy The Book

(now available in an updated ‘Centennial Edition’ – in time for the 100th anniversary of electronic video (1927-2027)


It’s not ‘the boob tube’ or a ‘giant wasteland.’  It is a product of the most advanced technology that has ever manifest on Earth. 

The missing piece that made it possible to send ‘moving pictures through the air’ arrived over 100 years ago; Few appreciate the magnitude of the breakthrough represented by what has become the most ubiquitous appliance in modern civilization – and one of the great, untold stories of the 20th century.

Every video screen on the planet – including the one you are looking at now – can trace its origins to a sketch that Philo T. Farnsworth drew for his high school science teacher in 1922 – when he was just 14 years old.

While the great minds of science, financed by the biggest companies in the world, wrestled with 19th century answers to a 20th century problem, Philo T. Farnsworth, age 14, dreamed of trapping light in an empty jar and transmitting it, one line at a time, on a magnetically deflected beam of electrons.

Learn of the genius that is re-awakened every time you turn on your TeeVee (never mind what you’re actually watching;).  Read:

The Boy Who Invented Television

A Story of Inspiration,
Persistence, and Quiet Passion

by Paul Schatzkin

To have the right idea is one thing.  
To have the right and idea
and make it work
is everything.


Philo Farnsworth was a self-educated farm boy from Rigby, Idaho, when he first sketched his idea for electronic television on a blackboard for his high school science teacher. Six years later, while competitors still struggled with mechanical television systems, Farnsworth successfully demonstrated his invention. He was 21.

In 1930, Farnsworth was awarded the fundamental patents for modern television. He spent the next decade perfecting his invention, fighting off challenges to his patents by the giant Radio Corporation of America and defending his vision against his own shortsighted investors who did not share his larger dream of scientific independence.

The Boy Who Invented Television traces Farnsworth’s “guided tour” of discovery, describing the observations he made in the course of developing his initial invention, and revealing how his unique insights brought him to the threshold of what might have been an even greater discovery—clean, safe, and unlimited energy from controlled nuclear fusion.

Paul Schatzkin has been researching and telling the story of television’s forgotten inventor for more than 25 years. His clear and entertaining writing style reveals the spark of true genius that is re-ignited every time a television set is turned on, while giving readers of all ages new insights into the technology that shapes our daily lives.


Kudos for the first edition (2002/2004):

The Best Biography of Philo and the Inventing of TV!  As a entrepreneur I appreciate the struggle Philo went through trying to get his invention of television funded and seeded into the marketplace.  I recommend this book to anyone who has an idea or invention they want to bring into the marketplace. – Rod M.

– – –

Here is a book that will draw you in and keep you going. A tale of truth about how the television got started. When you think of t.v., we have to also think of computers and other things that have come from the technology developed from the television.  A very, very good book. – Aunt Em

– – –

A riveting story. I also got the sense, with all the references and footnotes, that this was a carefully researched book. Being an electrical engineer myself, I appreciated that there was enough technical information without loosing the understanding of lay readers. I found none of the  technical blunders that often appear in biographies of technical wizards. In this book, it becames clear that there are technological breakthroughs that can only come from a great mind, and not from the “inevitable” march of technology.  – Joseph S.

– – –

I really enjoyed this engaging biography. The science of the book was mostly understandable to a layperson, and I found myself rooting for Farnsworth all the way. I could really sympathize with his triumphs and his losses, and I was so saddened and angry at the way he was treated toward the end of his life. It seems a real shame that he has not gotten the recognition he deserves, and I’m glad this book is out to give him his due. –Tanya W.